Archive for the ‘Ritualism’ Tag

Liturgy Library   1 comment

Liturgy Books I January 18, 2014

Above:  Some of My Liturgy-Related Books, January 18, 2014

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Liturgy library, expanding,

taking over more of my book

space (not that I object at all),

of you happily, openly, I sing.

Little space once, it is true, you took,

and now you occupy a whole wall.

Liturgy Books II January 18, 2014

One day, I think, my library you

will dominate; positive that

will be, for my appreciation of good

liturgy has increased; once a few

such books sufficed; a handful of them sat

on a shelf; now for my soul they food

Liturgy Books III January 18, 2014

are; I study old hymn texts eagerly;

I explore daily prayer rituals,

finding treasures; these deeds are hobbies.

I wonder what joys still wait for me

as I engage in habitual

and spiritual acts–liturgies.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 19, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF SARGENT SHRIVER, U.S. STATESMAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT CAESARIUS OF ARLES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP, AND SAINT CAESARIA OF ARLES, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESS

THE FEAST OF SAINT HENRY OF UPPSALA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT WULFSTAN OF WORCESTER, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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Sons of God by Faith   4 comments

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Above:  St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Newnan, Georgia, June 30, 2013

Image Source = Library of Congress

(https://plus.google.com/photos/114749828757741527421/albums/5895787306205745121/5896018951925445106?banner=pwa&pid=5896018951925445106&oid=114749828757741527421)

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EDITOR’S COMMENT:

My great-grandfather mixed Protestant revivalism with old-style anti-Roman Catholicism and opposition to ritualism.  All those elements were like circles in a Venn diagram.  I have expressed my thoughts about worship here:  https://taylorfamilypoems.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/ode-to-liturgy/.  And, regarding my great-grandfather and his indirect influence upon me, I have written here:  http://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/why-i-am-a-christian/.

And he wrote this between 1905 and 1913, well before the times of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.  We, as it turns out, did lift ourselves to the Moon by means of technology–close enough to boot straps, I suppose.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 11, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT OF NURSIA, FATHER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM

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Above:  Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, Apollo 11, July 1969

Image Source = NASA

(http://history.nasa.gov/ap11ann/kippsphotos/apollo.html)

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John 1, 12

1.  “Sons of God.”  This relation is spiritual.  He created & preserves all; but not all are sons.  “Not all are Israel who are of Israel” is clearly a spiritual distinction.  Not all the descendants of Abraham are like him morally.  Once rebellious, unbelieving, etc., now they love what He loves–are new every whit–sons.

2.  But man is not able to effect this change.  Were the power inherent in man Christ & the Spirit would not be necessary.

Ritualism fails utterly.

(a)  Works change not the moral nature.

(b)  Neither can water.  It is no more than a ceremonial cleansing.

(c)  Morality as an anchor does not reach the bottom spiritually.

At best such is only almost a Christian & almost is to fail.  As well pull on is boot straps to lift himself to the moon.  Rom. 7, 24-25.

3.  But Christ has this power–all power in heaven & on earth.  He conquered the devil, death, & the grave.  “Which were born…of God”  (v. 13).  “The Son…hath power to forgive.”  See Rom. 8, 2.  Christians in all ages testify thereto.

4.  This power is given to all who by faith receive him; the Spirit imparts it.  See John 5, 12; Luke 13, 34; Jno. 5, 4 & 10, 10.  To do this his constant pleasure; his longing.

5.  The Spirit who imparts the power testifies to us of it.  Sons of God & rejoice in the consciousness of it.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Ode to Liturgy   3 comments

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Above:  A Portion of the Liturgy Section of My Library, July 2, 2013

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Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness;

let the whole earth tremble before him.

–Psalm 96:9, The Book of Common Prayer (1979)

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Come, let us bow and kneel,

even light a candle,

in a place of reverence;

may we draw near to God.

Yet about rituals some feel

badly; the forms they cannot handle;

at Prayer Books they take offense;

to such “externals” they refuse even to nod.

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They mistake simplicity for purity,

plainness for earnestness,

mustiness for piety,

and chaos for freedom.

But in order there is liberty,

in beauty there is holiness,

in smells and bells there is propriety,

and in liturgy there is decorum.

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So from mystery and beauty

may we not run;

majesty may we embrace,

not reject;

from awe may we not flee,

but seek as flowers turn toward the sun;

proper ceremony may we adopt when it we detect.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 2, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WALTER RAUSCHENBUSCH, WASHINGTON GLADDEN, AND JACOB RIIS, ADVOCATES OF THE SOCIAL GOSPEL

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http://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/ode-to-liturgy/

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Make Your Salvation Sure   1 comment

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

My great-grandfather had disdain for ritualism.  I, however, affirm it.  I adore ritualism!  Where is that incense?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 27, 2013 COMMON ERA

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2 Peter 1, 10

1.  There is too much involved to make sure work for heaven.  We are sure of sin & ought to be sure of salvation.  We need to know before it’s too late.

2.  From Christ’s teaching it is certain many will try to enter in and not the able.  “Have we not cast our demons?” etc. but he answers “I never knew you.”

(1)  There is a form of godliness, without the power.  But we need the “power to become the sons of God.”  Not eating and drinking, but a real experience of “righteousness.”  Be sure here.

(2)  Peter certainly teaches here the danger of apostasy.  This is the setting of the text.  He tells them how to avoid it, and says he that lacks these added graces is backslidden already.  “Take heed lest he fall.”  Be sure to grow in grace.

3.  How make sure?  First be sure of a genuine case of religion.  Second, rest not in ritualism, but add to your stock of grace and obey him faithfully.

4.  Let not yours be a superficial life.  Lay fast hold of Christ by faith.  Be sure of heart-felt religion and be devoted to his gracious will.

You have every reason thus to live.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

The Overcoming Church   2 comments

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

My great-grandfather wrote:

Religion is a mater of personal experience.  (Rom. 14, 17)  This made them invincible.  They knew his power to save.  Revivals come by emphasizing experience, not dogma or ritual.  This has always been the peculiar power of Methodism and her mission.  Movements that emphasize something else fail.

The example of the Oxford Movement (1800s) disproves his main argument.

And I am an ardent ritualist.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 27, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Rev. 12, 11

John is banished to Patmos “for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus (Ch. 1, 9).  But he is given a vision of the Son of Man, hears the songs of the angels, and is shown things to come.  He sees the conflict of the witnessing church with Satan.  The Church conquers.  How?

1.  “By the blood of the Lamb.”  “Of God that taketh away the sin of the world.”  They have greater power than man alone possesses.  His blood has power to cleanse and keep all who come to him, no matter who opposes.  “These…have washed their robes and made them white through the blood of the Lamb.”

2.  “And the word of their testimony.”  “Wish the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”  Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.  “We are witnesses.”  The witnessing church invincible.  Testimony arrests attention.  It is always needed.

3.   “And they loved not their lives unto the death.”  They “counted not their lives dear unto them,” but devoted themselves to his cause at any cost.

The serpent rages so that they must endure as seeing him who is invisible.  They must suffer for the right.

(a)  Religion is a mater of personal experience.  (Rom. 14, 17)  This made them invincible.  They knew his power to save.  Revivals come by emphasizing experience, not dogma or ritual.  This has always been the peculiar power of Methodism and her mission.  Movements that emphasize something else fail.

(b)  What a call is here to heroic living and high endeavor.  Would that we might be worthy of them in experience and service too.

4.  No wonder John saw the Church conquering.  Such soldiers are invincible.  Satan’s kingdom shall be demolished and Jesus shall establish his kingdom upon its ruins.  Then Hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Cain’s Offering Rejected   4 comments

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

The great mythic tale of Cain and Abel does not explain why God rejected Cain’s offering, although one might surmise that attitude might have had something to do with it.  Or maybe it is a story about agriculturalist versus pastoral societies.

I do detect in my great-grandfather’s notes upon which I base this post his antipathy for formal worship.  As I have written already in this series, I adore ritualism.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Gen. 4, 7

1.  God is no respecter of persons–is without partiality.  Is of great mercy unto all who call upon Him.

Who can doubt his good will?  When one pleases Him he smiles?  His approval is man’s joy & peace.

2.  Cain is conscious [that] God is not pleased with his formal service, and is in an ugly mood about it.  God shows him the reason.  Heb. 11, 4.  1 Jno. 3, 12.  Matt. 15, 8.

3.  He need not be mad at Abel, nor complain at God.  Sin–his own sin–is the trouble.

What a truth is here.  Rid of sin, rid of all disturbance of one’s peace.  Would men really believed it.

Cain should be mad at himself, for he is the guilty one.

4.  Cain could yet remedy the trouble and all would be well.  If he offer a righteous sacrifice God would accept him.

Men need not go another day without peace (1 Jno. 1, 9).

Do you have peace, is all well with your soul?

If not, get right with God now and you too shall rejoice in Him.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

The Rejection of Israel and Adoption of the Gentiles   3 comments

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Above:  The Reading of the Gospel, Trinity Episcopal Church, Columbus, Georgia, Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2013

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

(https://plus.google.com/photos/114749828757741527421/albums/5879785940338178465/5879785940514346578?banner=pwa&pid=5879785940514346578&oid=114749828757741527421)

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

I adore ritualism.

https://taylorfamilypoems.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/spiritual-religion-and-ritualism/

and

http://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/rituals-of-the-evangelical-united-brethren-church-1946-1968/.

As for Jews, I like them and respect their faith.  They are, as Pope John Paul II said, our elder siblings in faith.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 1, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAMPHILUS OF CAESAREA, BIBLE SCHOLAR AND TRANSLATOR; AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JUSTIN MARTYR, APOLOGIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT SIMEON OF SYRACUSE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

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Rom. 9, 30-33

I.

Paul acknowledges that for reasons God has rejected the Jews and called the Gentiles into his covenant mercies.  “The Gentiles…attained to righteousness…but Israel did not arrive at that law.”  Why?

(1)  Let it be recalled that God has the prerogative to dispose of His own as He sees best.  The potter has the right to mold the clay as he sees best.  Matt. 20, 13-16

(2)  But there is always a human side.  God is not arbitrary.  “He is certainly no respecter of persons,” without partiality and without hypocrisy.

The Jews failed utterly at a crucial point.  “Following after a law of righteousness did not arrive at that law.  Wherefore?  Because they sought it not by faith.”

“The law of faith which we preach” (Ch. 11, 20).  God long endured them, “vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction” (v. 22).  “All day long did I spread out my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people” (Ch. 10, 21).  “Did God cast off his people?  God forbid?” (Ch. 11, 1, etc.)  Any of them may be saved even now by faith, as was I.

(3)  The Gentiles are under the same law of faith and it is because of their faith that they are admitted.  “Whosoever believeth on him shall not be put to shame.  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all is rich unto all that call upon him,” etc. (Rom. 10, 11-12)  “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (10, 13).  “By grace are ye saved through faith” (Eph. 2, 8).  See [also] Rom. 4, 5; 9, 33; 10, 4; 10, 11.

So then it is man that seals his own destiny.  Saving faith or a lack of it is the pivot of destiny.

II.

Let us learn once for all:

(1)  All emphasizing mere ordinances, ritual, or rites is a rejection of the mistake the Jews made–a looking to the letter of the law.  Inspiration never has put the emphasis anywhere but on vital experiential godliness.  “The letter killeth, the spirit maketh alive.”

(2)  The one safeguard of our lives is the magnifying of rich experience of the righteousness of faith.  Without it all else is an utter failure–is practical idolatry.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT